Green Flash Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine (2008) | Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-17-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 10
Photo of nickd717
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Toronado barleywine fest 2010. I am a sucker for -bal aging and Green Flash is usually pretty good, so I had to try this one.

Pours mostly clear dark reddish-brown with a well-formed head and good lacing.

Aroma is excellent: caramel, oak, brandy, and lots of fruits, red & white grapes especially.

Flavor is also very good, fruity and woody. Caramel malts and toffee along with a well-balanced brandy element.

Medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate for this style. Not at all boozy.

Very solid offering overall. Highly drinkable.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Toronado 2009 Barleywine Festival.
Pours clear deep copper with micro thin off white head. The aroma has lots of resiny pine hop notes backed up by full wood aromatics and a bit of booze. The taste is a bit harsh with pine hops and booze followed by some rich malty sweetness. Toward the finish I get a welcomed touch of toffee. It finishes a bit dry. Overall the beer ends better than it starts. Still, tasty stuff.

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Photo of bgjohnston
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a nice surprise for me. The dark brown head was impressive for such a strong beer. The spicy smell gave you only a hint of the powerful flavors competing on the palate when you taste it. Definitely some strong bittering hops in there, but the caramel malt flavors keep up very well.

I haven't had a Bigfoot for a couple of months now, but would love to compare them, as I think I have a new favorite barleywine in this one. Too bad I have only found this beer while out of my home state.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad. The beer is the color of maple syrup with a reddish hue and a small beige head.

The aroma is of a toffee. Some earthy hops are noticeable and the malt is quite rich with apparent brandy notes as well as figs. The nose has some fruit character which I'd describe as apple and pear.

The flavor is sweet and of caramel and toffee with a lot of alcohol. The brandy complements the rich barleywine flavors nicely and there's an apparent earthiness as well as some vanilla.

The beer is medium bodied with low - medium carbonation and a smooth, mellow mouthfeel.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Toronado (San Diego, CA) on 3/20/09. Served in a tulip glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby red, with a thin head of brite-white foam. Retains with a thin foamy ring that flares up a bit, leaving a touch of spotty lacing back. Not a whole lot to the retention but it's a look that's pretty on par with what I'm been seeing with more and more barrel-aged beers lately. The aroma is Wowzas! The brandy in the nose is just tremendous, giving off big wafts of dark raisins and figs, sticky smelling molasses, brown sugars, vanilla, and an underlying hefty graininess to the proceedings. Light heat penetrates the various aromas as well, giving the overall nose some nice warmth.

The taste doesn't give up quite as much as the aroma did but it still does pretty darn well for itself. A sticky tasting medley of dark fruits and molasses, caramel, chocolate, and grainy sweetness. Some light citrus adds even more sweetness to the profile and a does of hop bitterness rounds things out in the back. Honestly, the sweeter notes of the brandy and Barleywine are so intermingled at times, it's tough to figure out where one stops and the other starts. Very nice all around balance and smoothness to the taste. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a solidly robust creaminess to the feel that helps all of those hefty flavors flow. There's some definite alcohol beef present in the body but it never becomes stinging. This is definitely one that you need to take your time with though.

Wow, this was a most pleasant surprise to end an all around great day of drinking around San Diego. The sticky sweet maple syrup like flavors that this imparted were the real highlight for me, as was the solid drinkibility for an 11% Barleywine. A nice treat from Green Flash.

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Photo of midaszero
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear amber red body with a little bit of white head and a tiny bit of lacing

S - Brandy, hops, and malts everywhere

T - Brandy with light hop profile and tasty malt profile

M - Medium body with light carbonation

D - Very easy to drink and enjoyable

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Photo of magictrokini
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap @ O'Brien's. Poured oily brown/orange with a small, creamy off-white head. Spotty lacing. Rich, alchohol-laden aroma. Heavily caramel/brown sugar and brandy, giving it an almost maple-syrup character. While it is a sipper, its suprisingly smooth and drinkable, with a heavy, nearly non-carbonated mouthfeel. Very sweet throughout; liquer/candy-like but without being sickening. Again, more caramel and brandy, but with some faint citrus hop flavor. More pronounced earth, maple syrup, and vanilla flavors as the beer warms. No real "oakiness" but the beer has the mellowed feel of barrel-aging. It was worth the trip to a crowded O'Briens.

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Photo of John_M
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Hamilton's the other day.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with OK head retention and decent lacing. On the nose, however... jeeze loueeze, I'd swear I was smelling straight courvoisier. Wow. Otherwise, this beer is incredibly complex, with aromas of chocolate and vanilla, coupled with the cognac brandy smell. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, except the brandy flavor is a bit more subdued. Regardless, as one might expect from Green Flash, this is a huge, in your face, full bodied, no holds barred, barleywine. There is also some hoppy bitterness on the finish that helps to cut some of the sweetness, along with almost a nutty flavor that adds to the complexity. That being said, I think this beer is just a bit raw at the present time, and really could use a couple of years of aging to mellow out a bit. Nevertheless, even now this is an impressive beer, if not exactly a super drinkable one. At present it's a bit on the boozy side and finishes with some heat.

Another impressive effort from the folks at Green Flash. What a surprise. :-)

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Photo of TLove
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great beer for beginners trying to get into barleywines, as this is not overly-distinct as far as barleywines go, but it is certainly sweet enough to be superbly drinkable and strong enough to share.

Pours a light reddish, orangish hue with a nice smooth head and a sharp, sweet smell. The first taste is overwhelmed by the crisp sweetness of the beer, but once you get by this, there is a lot of nice lacing and substance to the beer. The 10% ABV is distinct, as are the grapes and berries that lend the beer its sweetness and color hue. But the barley takes over after a while and adds some hoppiness to the beer as it rounds out in your mouth.

All in all, a great beer. I am beginning to like barleywines more and more and this is certainly one of the reasons why. A bit expensive ($9 at Brickskeller in DC), but far less so than most of the barleywines and other comparable big bottles with high ABV content.

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Green Flash Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine (2008) from Green Flash Brewing Co.
4.13 out of 5 based on 10 ratings.
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